In hopes of creating a dynamic and robust Native American community at Amherst College, the Office of Admission invites eligible high school students to participate in additional programming designed to introduce prospective applicants to the Native community in our region and at Amherst College.
The Connecticut (Kwinitekw) River Valley has long been a crossroad for Native nations, serving as a vital trade route, canoe highway, and diplomatic center for millennia. Today, the Valley remains a central gathering place for Native people from the region and beyond.
Massachusetts is home to two federally recognized tribes, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah, as well as several state and community recognized tribes, including the Nipmuc nation. To the south are the Mohegan, Pequot, Schaghticoke and Paugusset nations. To the north are the Abenaki, as well as the Penobscot Indian Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point and Indian Township, the Houlton Band of Maliseet and Aroostook Band of Micmacs. To the west is the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, including the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations.
Situated within the Connecticut River Valley, amidst the beautiful rolling hills of the Holyoke Range, Amherst College offers strong courses, particularly in its American Studies and English departments, taught by scholars who have trained extensively in Native studies. Through our institutional membership in the Five College Consortium, Amherst College students can earn a Certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies, which offers a structured understanding of historical and contemporary issues affecting the Western Hemisphere's First Nations. Through a variety of courses offered not only at Amherst but throughout the Five Colleges, students will learn how these issues are embedded in the long histories of Native peoples.
Outside the classroom, Amherst College regularly invites Native leaders, artists, writers, scholars and activists to give public talks and presentations, as well as to participate in class discussions. The University of Massachusetts, just across town from Amherst College, also regularly hosts such events, including guest speakers from the region’s Native nations.
The Early Opportunity on Native Studies (EONS) offers participants all the activities and opportunities of our Access to Amherst (A2A) program, but with the added benefit of additional activities focused on Amherst’s academic opportunities in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS), and the experience of culture and community for American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native students. Students participating in the EONS will spend time with members of the Amherst College Native and Indigenous Student Association (NISA), learn about our extensive Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Collection of Native American Literature, and meet others involved in the Amherst College and local native community. Participants will join the events of our A2A program, including information sessions with our admission deans, a faculty panel, and time with current Amherst College students, faculty and staff. If you will be a high school senior in Fall 2023 and you identify as American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian or otherwise have an interest in indigenous studies and communities, we encourage you to consider applying for our EONS/A2A program.
Our Early Opportunity on Native Studies (EONS) is coordinated with our Access to Amherst (A2A) in early-October. EONS participants will have additional activities specifically designed to introduce participants to Native Studies and Native student support one day before the full A2A program begins.
The 2023 EONS/A2A application deadline has now passed and the application for our fall program is no longer available.
We typically notify all applicants two weeks after the application deadline, so keep an eye on your email!
If you are a current junior, check back next spring for the Fall 2024 EONS/A2A program application.